Dover Wartime Tunnels

October 16, 2019 Jenn Petersen

Technology keeps the memory of soldiers’ sacrifice alive in a realistic moving way.

Dover, England

CHALLENGE

It’s a truly immersive experience when the attractions are 26 meters underground in a network of tunnels 60 meters long. Secret tunnels under the famous White Cliffs of Dover were the nerve center for the evacuation of Dunkirk, a historic moment during the Second World War. The vision was to recreate the atmosphere of the claustrophobic operations center and the ‘Spirit of Dunkirk’. Audiovisual solutions were to play a key role, but the challenges were considerable. The underground climate is unique, the projection surfaces are long and winding but the story is compelling. The highlight of the experience was to be a giant 23- projector presentation and special lighting and sound effects that spanned an entire 60 meter tunnel with no straight surfaces. Silhouetted photographs throughout the tunnels were to create an eerie almost haunting atmosphere, while archive footage and audio recall authentic memories of the battle and its survivors.

Ghostly images, 60-meter battle recreations and archive footage bring the dramatic reality of wartime tunnels to life.

SOLUTION

The long tunnels proved as much an advantage as a challenge as the backdrop for a spectacular recreation of battle as a fighter plane flies the length of the tunnel above the famous Dunkirk small ships. Special audiovisual control, animated graphics, special effects, interactive displays, archive newsreels and recreations of wartime projectors build the authentic atmosphere and bring the ghostly wartime tunnels to life.

KEY TAKEAWAY

This unique experience shows that audiovisual solutions can succeed in the most challenging environments to recreate the authentic atmosphere of a historically important space. Visitors can see, hear and feel the danger as the events and people from the Dunkirk evacuation are made real. It has proved a great visitor attraction and a fitting tribute to an event considered the greatest rescue of all time.

"Providing a series of audiovisual experiences in the listed tunnels underneath Dover Castle has presented some very unique challenges. Electrosonic has provided the expertise, experience and creativity to come up with solutions which will create an immersive and and exciting experience unique in the area of heritage interpretation." Dirk Bennett, Acting Head of Interpretation English Heritage

Download a full version of this project profile here.

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